Arguably the most radical, defiantly uncompromising Russian director to emerge since the collapse of communism in that region, Aleksei Balabanov, who died suddenly this year at age 54, captured the Wild West atmosphere of the post-Soviet era in movies that oozed with caustic irony, macabre humor, and outré violence. Moving between offbeat experimental works and more mainstream, but equally personal, genre films, Balabanov—already a cult sensation in Russia—is ripe for discovery. All films directed by Aleksei Balabanov.

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